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Mail: EMS, 7626 Densmore Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91406-2042
In September 2000, EMS Magazine associate editor John Erich interviewed me for an article, The Safest Mall in Reading, that described our staff’s efforts to obtain an AED. Since that article appeared, we have never had to use our AED—until January 10 of this year.
On this particular Saturday, an 86-year-old male walked into a store and suffered a cardiac arrest. This proved a textbook call for optimum response to a cardiac arrest. This arrest was witnessed, with employees notifying both the mall security staff and our local 9-1-1 service. Two nurses were shopping in the store and began immediate CPR. Our officers responded within two minutes of getting the call, just as we said we could when initially proposing the AED program.
After we placed the patches on the man’s chest, a shock was advised and delivered. The AED then analyzed the patient, and no further shock was advised. It instructed us to check his pulse and begin CPR if necessary. No pulse was felt, and CPR continued until the arrival of the ALS unit seven minutes after the initial call.
The gentleman never regained consciousness, but we were advised that when he arrived at the hospital, he had a pulse and blood pressure. He suffered another arrest there and was unable to be resuscitated. Even though we lost the battle, we had won our fight.
The AED and the protocols we had in place did everything I hoped they would. I wanted to pass this along to John and the readers of EMS. Even though I only spoke with John on the phone, I appreciated his interest in our efforts and the professionalism with which he wrote the article.
I would tell anyone thinking about purchasing an AED to make the investment. Even though this patient did not survive, we still received a lot of compliments from the staff in the store, nurses on scene and responding EMS personnel for our preparation and actions that day.
EMS/Traffic Services Supervisor
VF Factory Outlet, Reading, PA
One Teen Soldier
I was pleased to read John Barrett’s article Help Wanted: How High School Recruits Can Meet the Challenge on the EMS Magazine website.
I’d like to tell your readers of a program we have here in Israel. I just started volunteering for Magen David Adom (MDA), along with 60 other high school students. A regular ambulance crew here is composed of a driver/medic and three of us volunteers. Occasionally, they add another medic and remove a volunteer. An MICU consists of a driver/medic, paramedic, doctor and one of us. There are around 4,500 of us volunteering all over the country. We are trained by other volunteers in an intense 60-hour course that creates a very tight-knit group of teens. This helps relieve MDA of a big financial burden, as it lacks monetary support from the government. Maybe this should be an example to EMS institutions around the world, especially in places where money is lacking.
Great articles! I am taking my EMT-B practical, and your articles have some good tips!
I’m with a volunteer fire department and work as a volunteer EMT-B at a regional ambulance service. I want to thank you: The information I get from EMS Magazine keeps me current and helps me prepare for my patients.
Jared Williams, EMT-B
Worthington (MA) Fire & Rescue
Hilltown Community Ambulance
Thank you for putting such interesting articles on your website. I am in EMT school now and plan to become a paramedic, and the information on your site is valuable to me as a student. The content helps me learn from people who are already out there doing the job. Keep up the great work!
Michael S. Wade
Reader Survey: Lifting Injuries
Have you been involved in EMS for more than 20 years? If the answer is yes and you were a provider for most of that time, are you having trouble with your joints?
EMS Magazine is conducting some informal research to determine how many EMSers are now experiencing pain, debility or deformity associated with past lifting experiences specifically during the 1970s, 1980s and1990s, when most ambulance cots had to be lifted into and out of ambulances.
Before a weightlifter hefts his maximal load, he spends 20–30 minutes warming up with lesser amounts of weight. But more than a generation of us didn’t have that luxury before lifting a patient (plus the weight of a 70-lb. ambulance cot) from ground level to loading height and into and out of ambulances several times on every call and many times per shift.
Write to Thom Dick at Boxcar414@aol.com with any relevant information about your experiences or information we can use to contact others. We will use data we obtain to develop an article on this subject.